No one was injured Monday in a fire which caused significant damage to
several condominium units in the 2100 block of Dogwood Lane in the
Westchester Village on the Green complex off 23rd Street, the Chesterton
Fire Department said.
Capt. Tony Coslet told the Chesterton Tribune today that firefighters
were dispatched at 12:18 p.m. after a resident in the 2136 unit of the
six-unit, two-story condo block reported smoke. The first responders on the
scene observed “heavy smoke” coming from the condo block’s roof and—after
the Porter and Liberty Township volunteer departments responded
automatically under a mutual aid agreement—a first and then a second alarm
were activated, mustering additional assistance.
On the first alarm: Valparaiso’s ladder truck; the Washington Township’s air
van, from which firefighters filled their air tanks; and a Burns Harbor
engine to man the CFD station on stand-by
On the second alarm: Burns Harbor’s engine from the CFD station to the
scene; a South Haven engine; Portage’s ladder truck; a Pines engine; and a
Beverly Shores engine to the CFD station.
Firefighters used a total of only around 6,000 gallons of water to
extinguish the blaze, which Coslet said never extended beyond the second
story into the attic. But the fire caused substantial damage to the middle
two of the six condo units and some as well to each of the two units on
either side. Coslet put the total value of the building at roughly $750,000
and estimated damage to the structure at $200,000 and that to contents at
Although the fire was initially reported by a resident in the 2136 unit, Lt.
Brandon Smith, investigating the blaze, said that it actually began in the
kitchen wall on the first story of the 2134 unit, then spread up the common
wall shared by the two units into the second story.
Smith has ruled the fire accidental and determined the cause to be some
“We got a pretty good knock-down,” Coslet said, and while a lot of overhaul
was required—because the fire started in the wall—there was no cellulose
insulation involved in this incident as there had been on Sunday’s fire on
Griffin Lake Ave.
But the response could have been severely complicated if the fire had
started later in the afternoon, Coslet noted, when an Indiana-American Water
Company crew was scheduled to shut off the water to the Village on the Green
complex to repair a broken water main. “It’s such a large building,” Coslet
said, “and if we’d had a problem with water supply, things would have been a
Also at the scene: Porter hospital EMS, the Chesterton Police Department
providing traffic control; and the Porter County Chapter of the American Red
Cross, which supplied refreshments and made arrangements for families
displaced by the fire.
The CFD cleared the scene at 4:20 p.m.